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Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo)

The “Saint Mary of the Flower” cathedral and its towering dome have come to symbolize Florence.

The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is also known as the Duomo, which is an Italian term for cathedral. Dominating the Florence skyline is the Duomo’s magnificent dome, considered by many to be the most important architectural achievement of the Renaissance. Inside the cathedral, you’ll find stained-glass windows and frescoes by Italian masters, and one of the oldest examples of an hora italica clock in the world. For many, the most impressive part of a visit is a close-up view of the building itself.

Plans for the cathedral were first drawn up in 1294 by the architect Arnolfo di Cambio and construction started two years later. The building was consecrated in 1436, following contributions from several different architects. Arguably the most significant was Filippo Brunelleschi, who designed the dome. At 149 feet (45.5 meters) in diameter, it was the largest structure of its kind anywhere in the world, and remains the largest brick and mortar dome in the world today. Climb the 463 steps (there’s no lift) of the dome for a superb panorama of the city. There is a fee to visit the dome.

Join the crowds in the Piazza del Duomo and pause to take in the cathedral’s impressive exterior. The pink, white and green marble of the façade was actually a late addition to the cathedral and completed in the late 1800s.

The 44 stained-glass windows depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments are among the highlights inside the cathedral. Don’t miss the giant clock above the entrance on the inside of the church. Designed in 1443, this clock is one of the last working examples of an hora italica timepiece, a 24-hour clock on which the last hour falls at sunset.

Santa Maria del Fiore is open daily, except for January 6 (Epiphany). Entry is free. While the lines to enter can be long, they generally move fast. If you are traveling in a group of more than four you may be required to take an audio or radio guide.

Popular Activities at Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower

There are so many unique ways to get a feel for Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower. Here's a list of some of the best ones:

Peruse our Florence things to do page to discover many more activities in the area.


Guide to Exploring around Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower

See all 5,537 Properties near Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower
c-hotels Ambasciatori ¥11,347
c-hotels Ambasciatori

c-hotels Ambasciatori

Via Luigi Alamanni 3, Florence, FI
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Santa Maria Novella, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Via Faenza, Santa Maria Novella Basilica and Museum, and Fortezza da Basso. Florence Baptistery and San Lorenzo Church are also within 15 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is only a 3-minute walk and Porta al Prato Station is 11 minutes.

    Hotel Pitti Palace al Ponte Vecchio ¥29,254
    Hotel Pitti Palace al Ponte Vecchio

    Hotel Pitti Palace al Ponte Vecchio

    Borgo S.Jacopo, 3/r, Florence, FI
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Oltrarno, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Ponte Vecchio, Pitti Palace, and Piazza della Signoria. Uffizi Gallery and Palazzo Vecchio are also within 10 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 16 minutes by foot and Porta al Prato Station is 23 minutes.

      Grand Hotel Cavour ¥15,080
      Grand Hotel Cavour

      Grand Hotel Cavour

      Via Del Proconsolo 3, Florence, FI
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Duomo, this family-friendly Florence hotel is steps from Badia Fiorentina and Bargello. Piazza del Duomo and Palazzo Vecchio are also within 5 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 14 minutes by foot and Florence Campo Di Marte Station is 23 minutes.

        Grand Hotel Baglioni ¥14,391
        Grand Hotel Baglioni

        Grand Hotel Baglioni

        Piazza Unita Italiana 6, Florence, FI
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Duomo, this boutique hotel is steps from Via Faenza and Santa Maria Novella Basilica and Museum. San Lorenzo Church and Florence Baptistery are also within 10 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is only a 4-minute walk and Porta al Prato Station is 15 minutes.

          TSH Florence Lavagnini ¥10,401
          TSH Florence Lavagnini

          TSH Florence Lavagnini

          Viale Spartaco Lavagnini 70 72, Florence
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in San Lorenzo, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Gallery of the Academy of Florence and Florence Baptistery. Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower and Piazza della Signoria are also within 1 mi (2 km). Florence Statuto Station is 9 minutes by foot and Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 12 minutes.

            Orto De Medici Hotel ¥14,147
            Orto De Medici Hotel

            Orto De Medici Hotel

            Via San Gallo 30, Florence, FI
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in San Lorenzo, this romantic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Piazza San Marco, Gallery of the Academy of Florence, and Statue of David. San Lorenzo Church and Florence Baptistery are also within 10 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 13 minutes by foot and Florence Statuto Station is 17 minutes.

              Maxim Axial ¥7,850
              Maxim Axial

              Maxim Axial

              Via Dei Calzaiuoli 11, Florence, FI
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Duomo, this hotel is steps from Via de' Calzaiuoli, Florence Baptistery, and Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower. Piazza della Signoria and Piazza del Duomo are also within 5 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 11 minutes by foot and Porta al Prato Station is 21 minutes.

                Hotel Laurus al Duomo ¥27,743
                Hotel Laurus al Duomo

                Hotel Laurus al Duomo

                Via Cerretani, 54r, Florence, FI
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Duomo, this hotel is steps from Via de' Tornabuoni and Florence Baptistery. Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower and San Lorenzo Church are also within 5 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 6 minutes by foot and Porta al Prato Station is 19 minutes.